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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Difference a Year Makes

The Difference a Year Makes

By Dr. Ryan Donlan
Assistant Professor
Department of Educational Leadership
Bayh College of Education
Indiana State University

I don’t often “journal” enough, keeping track of how I’m spending my time and what it means to me.  As evidence, I started jotting down a few things last spring, left things on the shelf for a while as “life happened,” then low and behold, I picked things up today

A lot has changed – The difference a year makes!

Serving as a Charter School Leader new faculty member in a department of educational leadership is an awesome responsibility.  The privilege of understanding the diversity in both my staff and student audience better knowing myself and how privilege in a socio-cultural sense may have affected my development in ways I have yet to understand, while working to enhance the quality of life for those whom I’m privileged to know, is humbling, to say the least. 

As a practitioner informed by the best of scholarship scholar informed by the best practitionership, I’m proud to say that I often champion the cause of at-risk students research and write in areas of school reimagination and charter schools, school wellness & The Process Communication Model® (PCM), and leadergogy, with an expressed desire that more and more students are ready to assume positions of college enrollment school leadership and lifelong learning. 

Evenings also bring their reward, as I adjunct at two Universities, spend time with my wife and children between evening classes, allowing me to transcend my daily role as a teacher of teachers and mentor of students  teacher of leaders and student of the profession.

It’s almost springtime, and with it comes a bit of time to see my neighbors once again after all the snowfall reflect on what a winter actually “is” in my new home, while readying the flowers and vegetables for planting after Memorial Day Easter. 

I’m very thankful to be doing what I’m doing and leading the life I lead.  I’m very blessed, indeed.


Going from school leader to faculty member this past year has been quite a transition … a monumental shift.

I’ll bet, however, as a K-12 school leader maintaining your current role – yet journeying from this school year into the next – you will experience change dwarfing that mentioned above. 

As our educational arena is changing, we are so very fortunate to have entrusted our K-12 schools to you. 

The difference a year makes.


Dr. Ryan Donlan can be reached at (812) 237-8624.  Please feel to write him with thoughts and commentary at anytime.  Slainte!

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